Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr By Motivating Young Leaders

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
— Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King did not live to see his vision for the nation realized.  However, it is being realized daily through the leaders that he inspired and through the aspirations of young people globally. He paved the way for our former President, Barack Obama to lead for eight years and for millions of youth worldwide to believe that they too are created equal and will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  The dream has to be kept alive for those young people; we have to encourage them, empower them and create a path for them to succeed. Former first lady, Michelle Obama's speech, which I have posted below, does just that.  In her final speech as first lady, she addressed students and educators and provided the following powerful advice:

  • With hard work and a good eduction anything is possible.
  • Religious diversity is a great American tradition. Practice your values with pride.
  • Don't let anyone make you feel that you don't matter.
  • Do not take your freedoms from granted; do your part to protect them.
  • When you encounter obstacles, rely on the power of hope to help you survive.

Young people, Dr. King's dream is still possible.  Don't be discouraged.  For every two steps forward, it may seem like we take a step back but progress is still being made.  With your hard work and dedication, every corner of the world can be turned into an oasis for freedom and justice.

Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be determined. Be hopeful. Be empowered. Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise. Lead by example with hope, never fear.
— Michelle Obama

HAPPY DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY!  Let us spend it doing our part to keep his dream in the minds and hearts of our youth. Dreams do not become reality without persistent and sustained action. It is not enough to have a kind and loving heart without extending kindness to our brothers and sisters.  Dr. King's dream for his four children is now the American Dream that we must all work tirelessly to make an undeniable reality for our youth.